A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Death of Arabic" Issue Gets a Lecture at Brown by a Fellow Skeptic

I can't resist plugging this, since the recurring meme "the Death of Arabic" has been a frequent topic on this blog (most recently two weeks ago). Professor Elias Muhanna at Brown University (he of the Qifa Nabki blog) is as skeptical as I am but is actually a specialist in Arabic literature and knows whereof he speaks, and will be giving a lecture at Brown October 8 entitled "The Death of Arabic is Greatly Exaggerated: Notes on the Future of a World Language."

The abstract;
Is Arabic dying? Across the Middle East, calls to forestall the language’s demise have taken the form of public advocacy campaigns, school curriculum reform, and a great deal of hand-wringing over the future of one of the great world languages. But just how dire is the crisis facing Arabic? Is it in danger of becoming merely a language of religious ritual, as some have wondered, or is it, conversely, becoming something it has not been in many centuries: a living language?
Any of you within commuting distance of Providence might want to take note. I don't qualify but I hope they post online video or a podcast or a transcript or something, or Elias does. (I promise to share it.) Here's the announcement:

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